A 51-year-old Belleview man is facing an aggravated assault charge after he allegedly attempted to hit a man with his car following an argument.
On Monday, September 4, at around 7:30 p.m., two Marion County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to an unspecified public park in Ocala in reference to a battery incident. Upon arrival, the deputies made contact with a male victim who advised that John Phillip Stevenson had attempted to hit him with a vehicle, according to the MCSO report.
The victim told the deputies that Stevenson had stopped by the park to confront him regarding a “false allegation” that he had slept with Stevenson’s wife. According to the victim’s statement, a brief verbal argument ensued, and the victim advised that Stevenson then entered a silver Dodge Caliber.
The victim stated that Stevenson conducted a U-turn at a nearby stop sign to leave the area, though instead of leaving, he “swerved” at the victim in an attempt to strike him with the car. The MCSO report stated that the victim was in fear of getting hit by the vehicle, and he told the deputies that he jumped backwards to avoid being struck.
One of the deputies at the incident location made contact with Stevenson over the phone. He told the deputy that the victim was “standing in the road” when he was leaving the park, and he claimed that he did not try to hit anyone with his car, according to the MCSO report.
The following day, on September 5, the deputies observed video footage from a nearby clubhouse that showed the altercation between Stevenson and the victim. The MCSO report stated that both individuals were observed arguing, and the victim was standing on the north side of the road, near the edge of the grass and pavement.
According to the report, Stevenson was observed on the video footage entering his car, and he proceeded to cross into the opposite lane in the direction of the victim. The report stated that the victim then jumped out of the way to avoid being hit by the vehicle.
At around 8 p.m. on September 5, two deputies responded to a residence located in the 13200 block of SE 35th Court in Belleview, and they made contact with Stevenson. After being read his Miranda rights, Stevenson stated that he did not swerve to hit the victim, according to the MCSO report.
During the post-Miranda interview, Stevenson claimed that he thought that a person in a nearby golf cart was “starting to back out,” which caused him to swerve. The MCSO report stated that a golf cart was visible on the clubhouse’s video footage, though the report indicated that the golf cart in question did not move during the incident.
Stevenson was arrested and transported to Marion County Jail where he is currently being held on $2,000 bond. He is facing a felony charge for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill.
A court date has not been scheduled yet, according to jail records.